Twenty-eight illegal aliens were found hiding in a horse trailer during a routine traffic stop just over 300 miles from the Mexican border with Texas. The traffic stop occurred Monday evening along a major trafficking corridor, U.S. 59, about one hour southwest of Houston.
A City of Rosenberg police officer and his K-9 made a routine traffic stop of a truck towing a horse trailer, according to the department’s Facebook page. The destination of the smugglers has not been released at this time, but it is likely they could have been headed to a stash house in Houston.
The K-9 Patrol Unit was working on U.S. 59 near Rosenberg as part of a federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task (HIDTA) force operation, Rosenberg PD Assistant Chief Tracie Dunn told Breitbart Texas in an interview Tuesday morning. The immigrants were discovered in the trailer and officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were called.
Dunn told Breitbart Texas ICE agents took custody of the 28 illegal aliens and the smugglers. She was not certain as to the number of smugglers involved in the incident.
HIDTA is a federal program designed to help local law enforcement officers deal with interdicting illicit drugs before they can make it to the streets. The specific goals of the Houston area HIDTA program are to “create, broker and nurture multi-agency task force approaches for the measurable disruption and dismantling of narcotic, money laundering and drug gang organizations,” according to a National Criminal Justice Reference Service website.
Houston is often the destination for the cargo of human smugglers coming out of the Rio Grande Valley border sector. Breitbart Texas has previously reported on stash houses all along the smuggling route.
Once successfully crossing the border, illegal aliens are often held in border area stash houses before moving northward. The people being smuggled and their families are often extorted for more money at each stop along the way.
Once moving north from the Rio Grande Valley, the people being smuggled must get around the Border Patrol inland checkpoints like the one in Falfurrias. Many times, the human cargo are force marched through the ranch lands in Brooks County leading to many deaths. Once they make it to Falfurrias, they are often held again in stash houses. While waiting to continue their journey, many of them are again extorted for more money and are physically or sexually abused, Brooks County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Benny Martinez told Breitbart Texas previously.
The human cargo are then loaded into a variety of vehicles where they make the dangerous journey northward to Houston.
In this case, the cargo were being hauled in the back of a horse trailer. In September, Breitbart Texas’ Ildefonso Ortiz reported on another human smuggling operation that lead to the death of at least six illegal aliens who were being smuggled in a Ford Explorer. A total of fifteen people were crammed into the SUV designed to hold five people. A crash occurred during a police chase as the smuggler recklessly attempted to avoid arrest.
In the Rosenberg case, there were no injuries or fatalities. Instead there were twenty-eight people hiding in the back of a horse trailer. Those people have now been taken into custody by ICE officials and the smuggling case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, Chief Dunn told Breitbart Texas.